Damien Rice
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Damien Rice - Woman Like A Man (released 17.03.03) Reviewed

According to the press release accompanying this single, Damien Rice spent a year travelling around Europe to provide inspiration before recording his first solo demo. He could have saved himself a lot of time and money if he had just bought Ryan Adams 'Heartbreaker' album. Although it is a tribute to the quality of Rice's 'Woman Like A Man' EP that he is not flattered by such a comparison.
'Woman Like A Man' is a passionate and unusually dynamic acoustic song that is embellished by an almost menacing cello sound and an additional female vocal. The lead track owes a large debt to the dark intensity of PJ Harvey.
Damien Rice - Woman Like A Man (released 17.03.03) Reviewed @ www.contactmusic.com

With three additional tracks, Rice is generously harking back to the glory days of a few years ago when singles always included four tracks. In this case, it is not just serving to increase the odds of getting a half-decent bonus song, because every track is bursting with understated beauty. The two new bonus songs 'Lonelily' and 'The Professor' are masterful, fragile acoustic gems, which again carry strong overtones of Adams and Joni Mitchell respectively.

'Delicate', the second track on the EP lives up to its name. It is a 'Heartbreaker' style melancholic acoustic song with an emotive vocal of heartfelt frailty. 'Delicate' is taken from Rice's critically acclaimed debut album 'O' which has achieved platinum sales in his native Ireland. Famously David Gray achieved commercial success in Ireland before 'White Ladder' conquered the world. On the evidence of this sublime EP, it would be surprising if Rice didn't follow Gray's career trajectory.

Gavin Eves



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